Talk:Core Curriculum Project

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Originally posted by User:Nedhorning

I wonder if "Core Curriculum" is what we really mean. I think of "Core Curriculum" as a set of resources to support a single topic, even if that topic is quite broad. For OSGeo I’m not sure what the “Core” is. I think we would want material to support a broad range of topics that would be difficult to bring under a single theme. Would something like the Education and Outreach Project make more sense?

Ned, I think that "Educational Outreach" might make sense. I am assuming the focus of this group would be on supporting teaching geospatial topics using open source software, right? Does this group want to address outreach to university based researchers too, or is that a different topic (I think so). --Warmerda 04:13, 20 February 2006 (CET)

Supportive comments by User:David Hastings

I agree with the question and response to date - is the desired goal another "Core Curriculum?" I wonder if "Educational Outreach" or "Learning Resources on GIS" might better fill gaps. I would hope that learning resources might include: 1. Physical training - with links to short courses and full diploma or degree programmes featuring open-source GIS; but also 3. Virtual training - by creating Web-based training materials.

The latter was my goal in 1994 when I adapted my somewhat popular short course to the Web, creating the CyberInstitute Short-Course in GIS (See Hastings, 1994 et seq. in the main article's reference list). I wanted to use and support open-source or low cost GIS (e.g. GRASS, Idrisi and OSU Map Analysis Package in those days - with the latter used in 1-day courses because of its extreme simplicity) for teaching scientific (as opposed to "merely" cartographic) GIS. I had developed a textbook for my short courses, but wanted to use Web-based approaches first, using my textbook as filler when I could not find adequate materials elsewhere on the Web. The approach generally worked, though there are still many fundamentals on GIS that are in my textbook (and the textbooks of others) that I cannot find on the Web. Nevertheless, the CyberInstute probably helped to "train" about 100K "students" until NOAA significantly reorganized that part of its Website 3 years after my move to the UN in Bangkok. (Please note that when I ported materials from my (copyright) textbook to the Web, I contributed those materials to the non-copyright public domain, so the archived short course could be put up on this site - after updating links, etc. - as a sacrificial first draft virtual GIS short course - if so desired here.)

A current virtual course might include a virtual textbook, with integrated practical exercises (teaching GIS principles, practices and applications while emphasizing open-source software). Of course, now such a course can be stronger on Web mapping and Web GIS. It can include text and tutorial materials posted elsewhere on the Web, supplemented by self-hosted materials. It could include tests - and perhaps have the tests include awareness-increasing materials on relative benefits/costs of open-source vs. proprietary or high-priced software licensing/support.

I am not sure that another "core curriculum" is needed so much as the implementation of some form of curriculum. With that implementation might come suggestions for modifying existing "core curricula" in which case an argument could then be made that a new "core curriculum" might be appropriate for an open-source group to work on.

One of the beauties of the Open-Source community is the ability to get virtually instant support - and not have to wait for an answer from a corporate call centre. When I installed Linux for the first time, I found that I could search the comp.os.linux discussion group archives, and EVERY TIME discover (surprise!) that someone had already asked my question, and that someone else had already answered it in detail. I believe that this should be one objective of an Open-Source geomatics community - to provide on-line knowledge helping newcomers to learn (1) geomatics and (2) the particular software packages that they want to learn. To me, it's very desirable for people to do this virtually as well as in person at physical training institutes/courses - which hopefully will also be featured on an "Educational Outreach" site. Ideally, this will also help instructors in brick-and-mortar learning institutions to adapt such materials for their own classroom and laboratory use. --David Hastings 13:55, 17 March 2006 (Thai Time => GMT +7 hours)

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